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Need some advise on camera / hardware / software


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#1 Jody

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:40 PM

Basically I am new to the whole film industry; I have done some research on the internet but have not been able to answer any of my questions. What I need help with is what I should buy to get started for making short films. I have a budget of around 25K for camera / hardware / software /? So my questions would be what is better and what should I buy?

PC or Mac
Software Final Cut? Or what would I use for PC software if that?s better
Add on software?
Camera ? I have been looking at the Canon XL
Tripod
And what ever else you think I would need?

Thank for any help.
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#2 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:36 PM

Take classes at the local JC and get all the stuff for free, use your $$ on raw stock, processing and post, and things that wil add production value (like costumes, props and feeding the crew)
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#3 Jody

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:01 PM

Take classes at the local JC and get all the stuff for free, use your $$ on raw stock, processing and post, and things that wil add production value (like costumes, props and feeding the crew)



Take classes at the local JC and get all the stuff for free, use your $$ on raw stock, processing and post, and things that wil add production value (like costumes, props and feeding the crew)



Thanks for the reply Stuart,

I have a budget for all the other stuff also, I just need help with what would be the best hardware to get?

Any ideas would be great

Thanks Again
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#4 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for the reply Stuart,

I have a budget for all the other stuff also, I just need help with what would be the best hardware to get?

Any ideas would be great

Thanks Again


Hi,

Why do you want to buy hardware? What you need is a good script.

Stephen
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#5 Jody

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:56 PM

Hi,

Why do you want to buy hardware? What you need is a good script.

Stephen



Stephen,

I think I have a couple good scripts, I just need advice from some one that has professional experience, so I don?t regret getting the wrong stuff and sales guys will tell me anything to get a sale. The first big thing would be do I get a Mac or PC? The second thing, what Camera should I get for around 10k that would work the best for the system I decide to go with.

I really appreciate the replies

Thanks Again
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:06 PM

Stephen,

I think I have a couple good scripts, I just need advice from some one that has professional experience, so I don?t regret getting the wrong stuff and sales guys will tell me anything to get a sale. The first big thing would be do I get a Mac or PC? The second thing, what Camera should I get for around 10k that would work the best for the system I decide to go with.

I really appreciate the replies

Thanks Again


Hi,

I would rent the camera. Mac or PC, depends on what editing system you want, if you don't know what to buy you should not buy anything! FWIW $25,000 for a student seems like a lot of money to burn!

Stephen
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#7 Rob.m.Neilson

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:06 PM

Stephen,

I think I have a couple good scripts, I just need advice from some one that has professional experience, so I don?t regret getting the wrong stuff and sales guys will tell me anything to get a sale. The first big thing would be do I get a Mac or PC? The second thing, what Camera should I get for around 10k that would work the best for the system I decide to go with.

I really appreciate the replies

Thanks Again



Definetly throw down the cash to get a mac with a decent amount of ram, and an extra hard drive. It should be easy to find a copy of FCP for free somewheres. As for a camera, an XL-2 is nice, but if youre just starting out I dont think it even matters much what camera you shoot on, since at the moment you really need to concentrate on your storytelling ability.
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#8 Jody

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:12 PM

Hi,

I would rent the camera. Mac or PC, depends on what editing system you want, if you don't know what to buy you should not buy anything! FWIW $25,000 for a student seems like a lot of money to burn!

Stephen

Would would you get a Mac or PC?, what editing system would you get?

Thanks
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#9 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:16 PM

Would would you get a Mac or PC?, what editing system would you get?

Thanks


Hi,

I am a DoP and this is a cinematography forum, I have a PC with Premiere but I am not an editor. If I was an editor I would probably get a Mac & FCP.

Stephen
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#10 Jody

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:19 PM

Definetly throw down the cash to get a mac with a decent amount of ram, and an extra hard drive. It should be easy to find a copy of FCP for free somewheres. As for a camera, an XL-2 is nice, but if youre just starting out I dont think it even matters much what camera you shoot on, since at the moment you really need to concentrate on your storytelling ability.


Rob,

How much RAM?

Is FCP the best for Mac?

I have read great and bad things about the XL-2, but more good then bad. I am thinking about the XL-2 but still not sure.

Thanks for the help

Hi,

I am a DoP and this is a cinematography forum, I have a PC with Premiere but I am not an editor. If I was an editor I would probably get a Mac & FCP.

Stephen


Shoud i be in another forum, I dont even know what a DoP is.

Thanks
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#11 Stephen Williams

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 01:23 PM

Thanks for the help
Shoud i be in another forum, I dont even know what a DoP is.

Thanks


Hi,

Director of Photography.

I think you need to try some editing systems for yourself, before spending any money.
It's much easier to spend money than earn !

Stephen
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#12 Jesus Sifuentes

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 02:21 PM

This is just my advice.

PC

Editing Software: Premiere for PC http://www.adobe.com...ducts/premiere/
or Final Cut Pro for MAC. http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/

If you want a high end editing system hardware/software get Avid Media Composer Adrenaline. http://avid.com/prod...media-composer/

Motion Graphics: Adobe After Effects 7 PC/MAC http://www.adobe.com...s/aftereffects/

or Snake/Motion for Final Cut Pro MAC http://www.apple.com/shake/

http://www.apple.com...tstudio/motion/


Graphic Design: Adobe Photoshop CS 2 http://www.adobe.com...ucts/photoshop/

Screenplay Software: Final Draft 7 or Scriptware http://www.finaldraft.com/ http://www.scriptware.com/

Script Breakdown, Budget, etc: Gorillia Software http://www.junglesoftware.com/

Edited by Jesús Sifuentes, 30 September 2006 - 02:22 PM.

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#13 timHealy

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 02:31 PM

Jody,

Since you are very green I wouldn't spend a lot of money on anything. As a filmmaker you'll have so many skills to learn that I would spend as little as you can so you can make several short films. You won't need the top of the line anything to make decent short films.

I would stay in the mini DV environment and would use a decent mini DV camera and Final Cut Pro and a Mac or Primiere on a PC. Those software programs a basically DV ready. It really doesn't matter which. It is more important to put your stories on tape and start editing them to see what works and what doesn't.

Some small projects you may want to work by yourself and others you may want to start hiring help. Like a DP or and editor. You'll learn more stuff by working with people who have better skills in those crafts.

The reason I wouldn't get an expensive camera or top of the line editing system is that by the time you get to the ability to use the advanced or top of the line features, it'll be out of date with better equipment available at that time for probably a cheaper price.

Also where are you located? You may find more comprehensive advice at a place liek B and H Photo in NYC for a camera, or a place like Tekserve for an editing system. Or even J and R in NYC. They all have good prices, but you want to speak to people and see what they have. Their salespeople are very good and knowledgeable and will give you the straight stories without pressure to buy. But I am sure you may have something like those near you wherever you are. Just don't go to consumer places like Best Buy for filmmaking advice.

Once you get up to speed on the crafts, then you can try other formats like super 8 or 16mm and perhaps look into transferring film to HD or Sd formats for beter prodcution values.

You don't have to spend all that money at once. Be frugal. Filmmaking can get expensive. The advice to take anysort of intro to filmmaking classes that includes production and post production are good too. For 500 to 1000 dollars you can get a good at some college somewhere.

Best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 30 September 2006 - 02:33 PM.

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#14 Jody

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 06:48 PM

This is just my advice.

PC

Editing Software: Premiere for PC http://www.adobe.com...ducts/premiere/
or Final Cut Pro for MAC. http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/

If you want a high end editing system hardware/software get Avid Media Composer Adrenaline. http://avid.com/prod...media-composer/

Motion Graphics: Adobe After Effects 7 PC/MAC http://www.adobe.com...s/aftereffects/

or Snake/Motion for Final Cut Pro MAC http://www.apple.com/shake/

http://www.apple.com...tstudio/motion/
Graphic Design: Adobe Photoshop CS 2 http://www.adobe.com...ucts/photoshop/

Screenplay Software: Final Draft 7 or Scriptware http://www.finaldraft.com/ http://www.scriptware.com/

Script Breakdown, Budget, etc: Gorillia Software http://www.junglesoftware.com/


Thanks for the info I really appreciate it. Help alot

Jody,

Since you are very green I wouldn't spend a lot of money on anything. As a filmmaker you'll have so many skills to learn that I would spend as little as you can so you can make several short films. You won't need the top of the line anything to make decent short films.

I would stay in the mini DV environment and would use a decent mini DV camera and Final Cut Pro and a Mac or Primiere on a PC. Those software programs a basically DV ready. It really doesn't matter which. It is more important to put your stories on tape and start editing them to see what works and what doesn't.

Some small projects you may want to work by yourself and others you may want to start hiring help. Like a DP or and editor. You'll learn more stuff by working with people who have better skills in those crafts.

The reason I wouldn't get an expensive camera or top of the line editing system is that by the time you get to the ability to use the advanced or top of the line features, it'll be out of date with better equipment available at that time for probably a cheaper price.

Also where are you located? You may find more comprehensive advice at a place liek B and H Photo in NYC for a camera, or a place like Tekserve for an editing system. Or even J and R in NYC. They all have good prices, but you want to speak to people and see what they have. Their salespeople are very good and knowledgeable and will give you the straight stories without pressure to buy. But I am sure you may have something like those near you wherever you are. Just don't go to consumer places like Best Buy for filmmaking advice.

Once you get up to speed on the crafts, then you can try other formats like super 8 or 16mm and perhaps look into transferring film to HD or Sd formats for beter prodcution values.

You don't have to spend all that money at once. Be frugal. Filmmaking can get expensive. The advice to take anysort of intro to filmmaking classes that includes production and post production are good too. For 500 to 1000 dollars you can get a good at some college somewhere.

Best

Tim


Thanks for the great info, This helps me out alot..
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#15 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 04:52 PM

I guess a more complete answer would have been: if I had $25,000 for hardware, I wouldn't spend it on hardware.

So many people have invested so much money into hardware that it is extremely cheap to rent, and if you don't happen to own it you are not stuck storing it, maintaining it, insuring it or justifying its existence. Good scripts are rare, so if you have a couple you are better off focusing on that and choosing people and equipment that will best fulfill the artistic vision of the script, instead of buying a bunch of stuff and ending up writing scripts that can be produced with the equipment you happen to own.

If you simply must buy a computer and editing software, a PC will cost 1/3 of the price of an equivalent MAC, and Avid runs equally well on both platforms (and even offers a free version of its software).

Best wishes)
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#16 Kevin Masuda

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:48 PM

Basically I am new to the whole film industry; I have done some research on the internet but have not been able to answer any of my questions. What I need help with is what I should buy to get started for making short films. I have a budget of around 25K for camera / hardware / software /? So my questions would be what is better and what should I buy?

PC or Mac
Software Final Cut? Or what would I use for PC software if that?s better
Add on software?
Camera ? I have been looking at the Canon XL
Tripod
And what ever else you think I would need?

Thank for any help.



If you are new and have never shot a film before then I suggest you borrow or buy a cheap camcorder or hell even a super 8 camera and learn how to compose, light and tell a story. Then get yourself a mac with final cut and lots of ram and save the rest of the money for a rainy day. The most important thing right now is to learn learn learn.

Kev
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#17 Brian Wells

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 01:02 AM

I would hire a professional cameraman and crew and shoot on film, if I had $25,000 to throw around and wanted to direct my own short movie... I would never shoot myself if I had enough money to hire a DP...
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#18 Rik Andino

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 01:21 AM

Shoud i be in another forum, I dont even know what a DoP is.


Maybe you should invest those 25k in a film school education.
Well at least buy some books before you buy anything else.

You need to get lots of information before you consider yourself a filmmaker
Or you might just wind up badly investing your money.
So the first thing you should do is read up all you can about filmmaking
This site has a great list of good (probably required) reading for filmmakers.

What kinda computer do you have now?
Use that to learn how to edit.
You can use Premiere or Sony Vegas on a PC and iMovie or FCP on a Mac

Do you have a video camera any video camera will do...
Get a cheap camera with firewire inputs (aka 1394 inputs)
Shoot random scenes and learn how to compose
And then you can edit them in your computer.

Get an SLR camera or better yet a Hasselblad or Mayima I hear they're cheap now...
Learn how to shoot stills and how to handle negative film
Learn how to compose a shot...these are necessary skills for a filmmaker.

After a few months you can also try to work on a few small productions in your area...
Just to see how real productions functions and what professionals do and use.

This is possibly the cheapest way to learn how to become a filmmaker.
Once you've done this for a year or better a couple of years
Than you can seriously begin to consider where to invest your money for your film.

Becoming a filmmaker isn't easy and it takes years there's no simple answer...
You must be dedicated to the cause...because it canl be tough to stay this industry.

Good Luck




PS
A DoP or DP (as we say in America :) ) is an acronym
meaning Director of Photography which is another term for the cinematographer.
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#19 Jody

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 11:54 PM

Maybe you should invest those 25k in a film school education.
Well at least buy some books before you buy anything else.

You need to get lots of information before you consider yourself a filmmaker
Or you might just wind up badly investing your money.
So the first thing you should do is read up all you can about filmmaking
This site has a great list of good (probably required) reading for filmmakers.

What kinda computer do you have now?
Use that to learn how to edit.
You can use Premiere or Sony Vegas on a PC and iMovie or FCP on a Mac

Do you have a video camera any video camera will do...
Get a cheap camera with firewire inputs (aka 1394 inputs)
Shoot random scenes and learn how to compose
And then you can edit them in your computer.

Get an SLR camera or better yet a Hasselblad or Mayima I hear they're cheap now...
Learn how to shoot stills and how to handle negative film
Learn how to compose a shot...these are necessary skills for a filmmaker.

After a few months you can also try to work on a few small productions in your area...
Just to see how real productions functions and what professionals do and use.

This is possibly the cheapest way to learn how to become a filmmaker.
Once you've done this for a year or better a couple of years
Than you can seriously begin to consider where to invest your money for your film.

Becoming a filmmaker isn't easy and it takes years there's no simple answer...
You must be dedicated to the cause...because it canl be tough to stay this industry.

Good Luck
PS
A DoP or DP (as we say in America :) ) is an acronym
meaning Director of Photography which is another term for the cinematographer.



Thanks for all the responses it is really helpful, it?s great to be able to ask for help and get so many responses. I have never joined a forum before it?s great that someone just wants to help new guys in the industry.

Thanks again for the great advice
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#20 Chris Durham

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 01:20 PM

What is it you want to do specifically?

1) If you want to produce, don't spend a dime on gear. Use your money to option/fund a great script, not a good one. Spend about $100 on amazon and figure out where to go from there.

2) If you want to direct, spend some money on acting classes. Spend some money on amazon and figure out where to go from there.

3) If you want to be a cinematographer, you'll need some gear, but don't go crazy. Get what you need to learn the ropes and then look for amateur or first-time projects. A good still camera (digital SLR) will teach you the photographic basics you'll need (lenses, composition, lighting).

4) If you want to edit get a cheap camera to get footage and a good computer to edit it. Once you've figured it all out, look for a first-time director with a short that needs editing.

5) If you want to do all of the above, then it's a confusing and arduous path. Read a lot and talk to people before you spend a dime on gear; but remember this rule:

Don't spend any money unless you've got a project at hand to spend it on.

Having gear will not help you - using it will.

(Renting > Buying) unless ($Renting => $Buying)
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Metropolis Post

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